“Not everything you read on the Internet is true.” Abraham Lincoln
Do you remember the first time you did it? I do and I even remember who it was with and the weird sounds we made.
I’m referring to the first time I ever went online, back in the ’90's and ironically it was to the PPAI website looking for info on their Dallas trade show (now called Expo). Fast forward 25 years and there are over 1.5 billion websites (although it’s calculated only 200 million or so are active).
Like you, I’ve gone down rabbit holes on the Internet hundreds of times, following links and wasting time trying to find the one thing I started looking for in the first place. It’s why I bookmark sites I find useful. I’m thankful this holiday season for the Internet, something that literally changed our world by giving instant access to almost anything we need to know…or not!
These 10 websites (and three bonus sites) may keep you from going down those rabbit holes when you need something specific to enhance your productivity. Whether you need a royalty-free picture, to convert .eps art or a fun gif, it’s worth bookmarking these sites for future reference.
- How many times has a customer sent you a logo in an .eps format you can’t open? It’s frustrating if a supplier gives you pushback and you don’t even know what they’re talking about. This nifty site is free and quickly converts .eps files into a jpeg: https://convertepstojpg.com/convertepstojpg.aspx
- If you write blogs or do other creative tasks where you need a picture, this site can be a lifesaver. They offer over 2 million royalty free stock photos you can use to up your game and give life to your words. There are many other free picture sites; however, I’ve found this one usually has just the right image: https://pixabay.com/photos
- If you create videos or slide shows and want music playing in the background, this site can’t be beat for free music. Both this site and the free image site above are owned by Canva, the Australian design and publishing firm: https://pixabay.com/music
- Headlines to draw readers into blogs, articles and emails is often the most difficult part of writing. This website scores your headline and tells you why it is or isn’t going to engage your readers. Use it to test the most important aspect of your writing: https://headlines.sharethrough.com
- Want to add some fun to your blogs, a website, or social media posts? GIFs, which stands for graphical interchange format, can be used to make a connection with your audience in a fun and engaging way. You can make your own or you can use this site and search for just the right one: https://giphy.com
- Do you ever have need to calculate a gross profit margin, the cost of an auto loan, or pretty much any other financial product estimate? This website helps you crunch the numbers and get the best value for your dollar: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators
- My wife and I wrote a children’s book and used an artist in Brazil who speaks some English, but prefers to speak in his native language. Our correspondence with him was translated from English to Portuguese using Google Translate. From Afrikaans to Zulu, you’ll be able to stay in touch with business associates, friends, and family by translating your thoughts here: https://translate.google.com
- If you own a business, it’s imperative to stay informed and up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of business. Inc. has a great website with articles on anything you can possibly imagine to help you run your business: https://www.inc.com
- Another great website to keep up with what’s happening in the world is Business Insider. Much of their content on tech, finance, strategy, advertising, and more is free and you can also subscribe to get even more premium content: https://www.businessinsider.com
- Words like literally, amazing, honestly, pivot and actually, have become tiresome and overused. This online thesaurus is a godsend for me and aids in finding good alternatives for those overused words. https://www.thesaurus.com
"The Internet is a giant international network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean, people without lives.” Dave Berry
Just for fun, these three websites can send you down a rabbit hole when you have nothing better to do:
- I’m fascinated with pictures of our universe and this site is like eye candy. One picture is posted every day and while not all photos are the stars and galaxies that surround us, they all relate to space and humankind’s final frontier: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html
- Here you’ll learn things you never knew you needed to know. Like what are SCIF’s, why do cats need to knead, and can mushrooms save the planet? Save this one for a cold, rainy day when you’re bored and tired of TV: https://www.howstuffworks.com/
- This site cracks me up and is a total waste of time, but who doesn’t want to see those awkward family photos from days gone by? https://awkwardfamilyphotos.com
There you have it, 10 websites to make you more productive and three to wile away those hours when you aren’t being productive. It’s truly the information superhighway, but filled with lots of potholes of misinformation as well.
Or, as Umberto Eco, the Italian writer and philosopher noted, "The problem with the Internet is that it gives you everything - reliable material and crazy material. So the problem becomes, how do you discriminate?"
Oh, and just in case you aren’t a fan of history, the quote from Abraham Lincoln that started this post is indeed not real!
After several decades on-the-radio as a DJ, news anchor and traffic reporter, Steve Woodburn MAS, stumbled, as most do, into the world of promotional products. He spent 29 years on the distributor side and five as a supplier, which gives him a unique perspective on this crazy business and life in general. He currently creates and writes content for industry websites, is writing and hosting a new podcast for PromoCorner called ProFiles and is the Chief Adventurer of Marvelous Moosey Adventures LLC.